Cleckheaton ended their National League Three North campaign with a 33-7 defeat away to Firwood Waterloo last Saturday.
Neither side had that much to play for with the Moorenders already assured of safety following victories in the last couple of weeks and Waterloo certain of a top half finish.
Both teams threw the ball around on a warm spring day in Liverpool but the expansive approach probably favoured Waterloo more and the home team opened the scoring after 15 minutes through inside centre Freeman Payne. Simon Reeve added the conversion.
Cleckheaton mounted a concerted response but could not convert their possession into points.
Five minutes before half-time, a kick through bobbled into the in-goal area but what appeared to be an easy touchdown and 22 drop-out for Cleckheaton turned to calamity as the full-back slipped trying to tap the ball down and Waterloo’s Matt Crow scored to put the home side 14-0 ahead at half-time.
The second half started brightly for Cleckheaton, keeping the ball tighter and pressurising Waterloo’s line but again the last pass or drive saw the ball come loose.
Waterloo continued with their expansive style and a flowing move allowed Crowe to score his second try.
Reeve added the extras and a few minutes later Crowe completed his hat-trick to make it 28-0.
Cleck did not capitulate and took the game to their opponents in the forwards.
The tactic paid dividends as Jack Bickerdike grabbed a consolation try which Ronan Evans converted.
With the last play of the game, Waterloo scored again, this time through Simon Reeve to seal victory.
Cleckheaton finish 10th in the league a couple of places from the drop zone.
Under-21s players Jack Seddon, Luke Pearson and James Crowther have been outstanding and Cleckheaton have a core squad that are worthy of their place at this level.
The club’s end of season dinner and awards night will take place next Friday (May 6) with a club tour of 30 players heading off to Bratislava in Slovakia the following week.
Cleckheaton Junior Colts face an anxious wait to see if they will be crowed Yorkshire League Division Four West champions following a 15-15 draw against Hudderfield YMCA in their final match.
T Ford made a great break and sent B Etchells over for an unconverted try only for YMCA to edge ahead with a converted try of their own.
M Walker kicked a penalty to put Cleck 8-7 ahead at half-time and S Noble dived over for a try which Walker goaled.
YMCA replied with a penalty but Cleckheaton looked to be hanging on for victory which would have seen them crowned champions.
From the last play of the match, YMCA sneaked over for an unconverted try which earned a draw to keep alive their hopes of the title.